My Dog Is as Smelly as Dirty Socks: And Other Funny Family Portraits

Hanoch Piven, Author . Random/Schwartz & Wade $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-375-94052-1

When it comes to really nailing the essence of a loved one, argues the girl who narrates Piven’s (What Presidents Are Made Of) latest collage confection, the truly committed artist must eschew paper and pencil and turn instead to the found object. Thus, the full stinkiness of Schmutz, the girl’s dog, comes alive in an assemblage that includes real socks for ears, garlic for eyes, an onion for the tail and pepperoni for a nose. “Yucky-Boo!” announces the girl as the dachshund-like doggie is revealed. “I warned you.” The girl’s self-portrait is a veritable catalogue of objects, from the obligatory crown to a magnifying glass (for curiosity). Some of the rationales for objects don’t sound very kid-like—dad’s mouth, the girl explains, was inspired by his tendency to be “as stubborn as a KNOT in a ROPE.” But Piven astutely captures the restless imagination and unsparing self-criticism that defines the budding artist; the girl dismisses her own drawing of her mother with a curt, “Sorry, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.” This invitation for readers to create portraits of “your special family”—Piven even throws in a few suggestions for things that suggest qualities like “smart” and “funny”—is certain to get a prompt RSVP. Ages 4-8. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/30/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
Paperback - 34 pages - 978-0-307-93089-7
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-375-84052-4
Open Ebook - 47 pages - 978-0-307-98364-0
Prebound-Sewn - 40 pages - 978-0-606-26384-9
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